Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pride in Palin

James W. Muller

09.10.08, 1:00 PM ET

Alaskans are recovering from the media onslaught after Republican presidential nominee John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate.
For the last week, our phones rang off the hook, suitcases were bumped from iJames W. Muller 09.10.08, 1:00 PM ETnbound planes by checked TV cameras and e-mails flooded into the state from faraway friends and strangers.

People who used to run into Palin buying groceries, cheer her husband at snow machine races, go to school with her children or hear her speak at the Rotary Club suddenly realized their neighbor might be elected vice president. We continually joke about the big shots in the media who are clueless about Alaska; they ask each other where they were when they heard about McCain's choice--as if it were as shocking as an assassination.

Having watched Palin as governor for almost two years, Alaskans know she's a skillful speaker and a quick study. Unlike the fancy press, they weren't surprised when she shone at the Republican National Convention, nor do they expect her to stumble when she's interviewed by people who are just beginning to figure out where the North Slope is.

Already acquainted with the expert pacing, sudden wit and suppressed energy that startled convention viewers, Alaskans know she can do more than follow a script. They wonder if the first October surprise of this campaign will be a victory by Palin over Joe Biden in their televised debate. After all, she likes to win.

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